2015 GMC Yukon | First Drive
* Spacious and comfortable interior that is crammed with tech and safety features.
* In Denali guise, the 2015 GMC Yukon packs in oodles of power and GM's brilliant Magnetic Ride Control.
* Although the GMC Yukon is more powerful than the Lincoln Navigator, it is unable to tow as much.
Taking a leaf out of Cadillac’s book, the 2015 GMC Yukon bears greater resemblance to the Cadillac Escalade than it does to its not-so-classy cousin, the Chevy Tahoe. With vertical headlamps that creep into the fenders and a colossal chrome grille up front, the Yukon proudly showcases its muscular form which has made it synonymous with football players, rappers and quite possibly, the mafia.
While the Yukon and Yukon XL share design, architectural and powertrain elements, the XL is approximately 355 mm longer and provides almost twice the cargo room behind the third-row seats. Although some would argue that the Yukon’s cousin from Dearbon, the Lincoln Navigator, is better looking, we’d have to disagree.
Identical to that of the Chevrolet Tahoe, the interior is a union of leather, soft touch materials and wood trim which runs along the dashboard, centre console and door panels. While there is no shortage of space, the Denali is definitely the pick of the bunch as it features a larger customizable display in the instrument cluster and active noise cancellation, to offer a supremely quieter ride.
Amongst the host of changes that have been incorporated into the 2015 GMC Yukon and its seemingly endless sibling, the Yukon XL, an added two inches of legroom for rear passengers not only heightens comfort levels, but allows for easier entry and exit as well. Additionally, fold flat second and third row seats, along with a power rear liftgate with customizable height settings, increases the Yukon’s ratings on the practicality-o-metre.
In terms of safety, GMC has really gone to town with the 2015 Yukon. While forward collision alert, front and rear parking assist, lane departure warning, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert are available, so is adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking and a Head’s Up Display unit.
On the road, the GMC Yukon handles very much like its Chevy cousin, but get behind the wheel of the Denali variant, and it’s a completely different story. Packing in GM’s Magnetic Ride Control which reads the road and what’s ahead every millisecond, the Denali adapts its damping in just five milliseconds to provide the smoothest of rides and doesn’t bounce on speed breakers like an infant on a trampoline.
For 2015, the Yukon family is more powerful than ever before. While the Yukon and Yukon XL are fitted with a 5.3 litre ECOTEC3 V8, which churns out 355 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 519 Nm of torque at 4,100 RPM, the Denali receives a significantly brawnier 6.2 litre unit which produces 420 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 624 Nm of torque at 4,100 RPM.
Mated to a six speed automatic transmission, both engines feature fuel saving technologies such as hydraulic engine mounts, electronic throttle control, cylinder deactivation and adaptive exhaust systems, which allow them to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods of time.
Although the Denali commands an AED 55,000 premium over the Yukon XL, it is definitely the one you’d want to go for. Offering a smoother, quieter and more exhilarating drive, the 6.2 litre V8 is the only engine that does justice to an SUV of its size.
SUV’s have come a long way and simultaneously, the core usage of vehicles hailing from this class has undergone a significant change as well. While SUV’s were rugged vehicles that provided access to remote areas, today, they’re merely spacious family haulers that spend the majority of their lives cruising highways and in city traffic.
While the Lincoln Navigator is a tad more practical with its 4,082 kg towing capacity, (as opposed to the Yukon’s at 3,855 kg) it is also significantly more expensive with a starting price of AED 230,000. For the money, there really isn’t a lot that can come close to the 2015 GMC Yukon, but before you go out and buy one, remember, that Chevrolet Tahoe driver in the next car is essentially driving the very same vehicle, just with a different badge…
|2015 Yukon (2WD)||AED 175,000||AED 205,000|
|2015 Yukon (4WD)||AED 185,000||AED 215,000||AED 270,000|
|2015 Yukon XL (2WD)||AED 185,000||AED 215,000|
|2015 Yukon XL (4WD)||AED 195,000||AED 225,000||AED 280,000|